Bobby’s Lighter Lemon Bars

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By Bobby Deen

198 Fewer Calories
10g Less Fat

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 egg white
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing the foil to extend over the pan by 2 inches. Lightly spray with nonstick spray.

Whisk together 1 cup of the flour, the salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Whisk together the eggs and egg white in a small bowl until blended.

To make the crust, with an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and beat until blended. Beat in 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture and 1 teaspoon water. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until blended. Evenly press the dough onto the bottom and 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup flour and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining egg mixture, the zest, and juice until blended.

Pour the lemon mixture over the warm crust. Bake until the filling is set, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Lift from the pan using the foil as handles. Cut into 16 squares.

Prep Time:  15 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 16 bars

Per Serving: 121 Cal (22% from Fat, 7% from Protein, 71% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 22 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 13 g Sugar; 11 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 74 mg Sodium; 36 mg Cholesterol

Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen:  Lemon Bars
Lightened Up recipe courtesy of Bobby Deen and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen

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Reader Comments:


i dont care what people say i love your cooking

By mildred swailes on December 14, 2013


We love you Paula keep your head up ...I love everything I try.God Bless

By Barbara Byrum on September 23, 2013


Love the lo cal receipts you all....and miss all of you on T V....Darlene

By Darlene Veda on July 12, 2013


Love everything I have tried of Paula and Bobby's lighter recipes! Love you both on the cooking network! Paula, you are beautiful with 2 handsome sons. I was born in 1947 too and am diabetic, but weigh only 120 lbs. Love you both!

By Judy Lydon on March 01, 2012

These are delicious!  I never had the originals, but it is hard for me to believe these are the “lighter” version because they have a rich and fresh taste.  Good job, Bobby!  Keep ‘em (more light recipes) comin!!!  And P.S. - for heaven’s sake, somebody make these recipes printable!

By Kathy Harrington on September 28, 2010

Paula & Sons, love your show the recipes are great. When I keep my 9 yr. old grandson he wants to cook with you. So I tell him lets see if we have everything we need if we don’t off to the store we go. So when he come here we will have to bake the lemon bars. He want eat them because he does’nt like lemon lol. But at Christmas time we fix goodies for each family as a gift. They all love that. I fix all kinds of stuff if one persons is a little different they let me right quick. We’ll see what happen this year. God you & you lovely family.

By becky davis on September 26, 2010

I am at this moment making the lemon bars. I put the exact ingredients as called for in the crust but it did not make a dough. I had to add a good bit more water to get the dough to form. Are the recipe amounts correct for the crust? I am baking it now and have already made my filling. I hope it all works out. I have been looking forward to making these since I found the recipe.

By Pam LaGrone on September 05, 2010

Paula, Is there a cookbook out with Bobby’s reduced cal receipes?  I’d love to have one if so.  I can’t get these to print off the computer!Thank’s

By Lynn Harris on July 28, 2010

Hi do u have a conversion into grams or ounces for us brits who use the site?

By frances on June 29, 2010

These lemon bars are soo good and you can’t even tell they’re lighter in calories! Keep up the good work Bobby:)

By Regina on June 24, 2010

Bobby’s Lighter Lemon Bars
I love the lemon Bars and love this website. I wish you would put a print tab on here so I could print recipe without copying and pasting.
Love Paula’s show and make lots of her recipes.

By Pam LaGrone on June 24, 2010

I love the lightened up recipes—it makes it easier to fit some of your mom’s wonderful recipes into my quest to lose weight and eat healthier.  Keep up the good work!!

By Dorothy Carter on June 24, 2010

Hi Bobby,
My husband loves lemon bars and will definately try this one. He is diabetic and there are only a few deserts he likes and lemon bars is one.

By Bonnie on June 24, 2010

I love your show..You are my favorite ...I also love to bake…Thanks for the recipe..I will be making it for the big 4th of July Party at my house….

By Joni Harris on June 24, 2010

I love this dessert cuase it does not contain milk my husband cant have any milk product and this is a perfect dessert. what esle can i make that does not contain milk?

By kristina tobias on June 24, 2010

Love you recipes.  I am from Albany and went to Albany High.  You cook like us Ga. girls.

By Carlene Walker on June 24, 2010

Hello, Paula, Jamie,& Bobby. I love your show, your recipes, and i love me some paula deen. i like how bobby has reduce some of the cal, and fat in the lemon bars, you know a girl still want her sweets even when hers watching her waistline. Thank y’all so much for the shows, the recipes and the laughter. I wanted to know if you could make your recipes from this website, where we could email the recipes to ourself and/or others, that would be great if we could do that, cause some times i cant print out the recipes if im at work. thank you again for being you.

By Annette on June 23, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm